Trends: Competition, What is healthy and what is not?

Is it ok to be upset that you don’t get the Gold medal, but got sloppy seconds…the Silver Medal. Well, I would be happy with a Copper Medal, but my mile time is not all that impressive.

How do we demonstrate Healthy completion? What is the limit? Should we encourage our children and ourselves to get to the next level at the risk of pushing too far?

We compete against ourselves everyday. Whether we try to better our last run time, swim faster than the last lap, master that underwater turn, throw the ball stronger and straighter, or kick it right in the center of the goal. Man does it feel good when we reach those goals that we set! Even if it is as simple as I got the kids to school faster than yesterday.

So, when we compete against others, what is the bench mark? How far do we push and what do we push through?

Here are some things to think about and to keep your ‘peace of mind’ for ourselves and for our children when it comes to competition.

Healthy competition focuses on doing one’s best, having fun, and learning skills. It promotes teamwork and positive participation. Those who give a strong effort and strive to improve themselves usually advance. If learning or improving is the goal, children always reach it. If they happen to win, it’s icing on the cake.

Unhealthy competition focuses on winning, being the best, or being better than others. The pressure to win is more important than the fun of playing or learning skills. If children put forth their best effort but still "lose," they may still feel like a failure. They miss important lessons losing can teach them, because winning is the goal.

Well… based on that definition, The Olympics is one massive display of “Unhealthy Competition”.

The “Livestrong” Website says…

“Children who become involved in competitive sports may experience burnout or become bored with sports, according to Family Resource. The stress of competing can take its toll on the psychological development of children as well. Parents often place high expectations on their children and risk alienating those who don't live up to the high standards. Traveling, training, practice and games take time, often taking away from other important childhood activities. Too often, kids don't have enough time to experiment with other interests.”

Ok, so here is what I am getting from all of this; the Olympics is not healthy competition. It is more of an obsession by the individual competing in the sport. It is based on a talent, a mission, a gift.

So we cannot all be Olympians. But we can compete and we should! We can push ourselves and our children to the next level.

Here are the benefits of competing in Sports:

“Competitive sports push children to get in shape. According to Children's Hospital, kids who play sports are more likely to maintain a healthy weight. Exercise improves memory and learning capabilities, and girls who play sports often do better academically as well. Competitive sports teach children how to set and reach goals. When those goals are achieved, children tend to experience a high level of self-esteem. They learn how to cope with stress and how to win and lose gracefully.”

This is good! And the most important thing…”loose gracefully”. Be happy with the Silver, or Bronze! That, my friend, is the lesson. Be your best! Push your self! Win and loose with grace and push through your challenges!

That is an all around win, every time!

Enjoy the last of the Olympic games! I got goose bumps when the US Women won Gold in Soccer! There was nothing but obsession in their eyes! And I loved every minute of it!


Comments are closed.